Central Texas News

SYFY and Alamo Drafthouse are partnering to present the SYFY25 Screening Series, a fun-filled retrospective of genre classics to celebrate the network’s upcoming 25th anniversary.

As part of that screening series, they’ve put together another amazing screening event: EVIL DEAD 2. In the woods. With America’s finest leading chin, Bruce Campbell, in attendance.

EVIL DEAD 2 is celebrating its 30 birthday, this year, and in honor of that momentous occasion, they’re bringing two great tastes that taste great together for an unforgettable nerve-shatteringly immersive cinematic experience!

Sure, you’ve seen EVIL DEAD 2 (more than a few times, we’re guessing). But have you ever watched it with Ash himself, live and in-person… in the terrifying pitch-black of actual spooky old WOODS?! “Groovy” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Your ticket not only includes Sam Raimi’s masterpiece of slapstick terror projected in all its brutal and hilarious glory on the big screen but alsoyour very own copy of Bruce’s new book, HAIL TO THE CHIN (every copy of which will be generously provided by Austin’s own BookPeople) with a chance to get it signed by the King himself — plus other gory-good surprises we can’t reveal just yet.

What are you waiting for? Get tickets here!

In honor of two epic films screening this Memorial Day weekend, Alamo Drafthouse Austin is pleased to announced the return of a much-requested favorite: Alamo Drafthouse Boat Parties.

On Saturday, May 27th, abandon all hopes of boredom for all ye brave enough to join the crew of the Alamo Drafthouse for the return of the greatest parrrrrrrrrty the high seas have ever known: The PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES Boat Party Adventure on May 27th.

With a new Captain Jack adventure on the horizon we couldn’t pass up this opportunity for more adventure on the high seas (actually on Lady Bird Lake) filled with treasures beyond yer wildest dreams, plentiful grog, and pirate booty that shows no sign of stopping,

Tickets includes a day of pirate pandemonium. It starts on dry land with a screening of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, then shoves off onto the sea (of Lady Bird Lake) for untold pirate adventures.

Then, on Memorial Day, May 29th, Alamo Drafthouse, Golden Hornet Composer Laboratory, and LOLA (Local Opera Local Artists) invite lovers of opera and adventure to attend an epic FITZCARRALDO Boat Party. The afternoon begins at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz with a special 35mm screening of writer/director Werner Herzog’s surreal epic of one man’s fevered dream of bringing opera to the jungle at any cost, FITZCARRALDO.

The evening continues with an unforgettable operatic voyage on scenic Lady Bird Lake. Enjoy a beautiful evening cruise featuring professional artists from Austin’s hottest new opera company.  Arias, duets, trios, quartets… all for you (and anyone who happens to be on the banks of Lady Bird Lake). Refreshments on board will be provided courtesy of Easy Tiger and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop.

Ticketing for both events are on sale now at Drafthouse.com.


Sat, May 27th
Lady Bird Lake
Mon, May 29th
Lady Bird Lake

NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the eighth annual launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially after a military move. The list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. This list will be updated throughout the summer as more museums sign up.

“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”

Last summer, more than 900,000 military members and their families took advantage of free admission as part of Blue Star Museums, visiting not only fine arts museums, but also science museums, music museums, nature centers, and children’s museums.

Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet says service members and their families look forward to the variety of participating Blue Star Museums each summer. “Whether they want to blast off at a science museum, take a walk through nature, or encounter animals at the aquarium, Blue Star Museums will help service members and their families create memories this summer,” said Roth-Douquet. “This fantastic collaboration with the NEA brings our local military and civilian communities together and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year’s Blue Star Museums program welcomes many new participating museums, including the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia; the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis Tennessee; the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman, Idaho; and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark, NEA Director of Museums at clarkw@arts.gov.

Leadership support for Blue Star Families programming and promotional materials has been provided by MetLife Foundation. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Blanton Museum of Art
Elisabet Ney Museum
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
LBJ Presidential Library
Mexic-Arte Museum
Neill-Cochran House Museum
Texas Capitol Visitors-State Preservation Board
Texas Memorial Museum
Texas Military Forces Museum
Texas State Capitol-State Preservation Board
The Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Contemporary Austin
The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center
The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria
UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum

San Antonio:
Blue Star Contemporary
Briscoe Western Art Museum
Casa Navarro State Historic Site
McNay Art Museum
San Antonio Museum of Art
The Alamo
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens

Central Texas’ most well-known children’s theatre company, Pollyanna Theatre, a resident company of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, presents the world premiere of Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico by Holly Hepp-Galvan. This new play, best suited for children ages 5-9, opens May 12 – 21 at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside, Austin, TX 78704.

Long ago, possums didn’t look the way they do today. They were silky white and had beautiful tails with long, thick fur. And they loved to play tricks, particularly on poor Coyote. In this retelling of Mexican folklore, we follow Possum’s adventures with Coyote, Rabbit, Snake and Grandmother Turtle as they prepare for el gran fiesta when every animal gets to choose what they will look like forever. Along the way, Possum ends up playing one trick too many and he is called upon to save the world by bringing a chunk of the sun down to earth. Combined with Spanish language elements and traditional Mexican symbols, this play will have children laughing while they think about what it really means to be clever.

While the plot and characters in Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico are drawn from several popular Mexican folktales, many cultures use traditional trickster and animal characters to explain human nature. The trickster figure in this play, Possum, will show kids the values of being clever and the consequences of being tricky. Children will also be able to discuss the power of storytelling, which was once only an oral tradition through which older generations passed down valuable life lessons. This play provides teachers and caregivers of Latino children an opportunity to connect by understanding their culture and expands the cultural knowledge of non-Latino children.

Parents, teachers and caregivers can download a free study guide to accompany the production by visiting http://www.pollyannatheatrecompany.org/teachers/lesson-plans/. The guide contains an overview of the play, educational objectives and pre/post discussion questions and activities. In addition to public performances, Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico is also available for schools and camps throughout Central Texas.

WHEN: May 12 at 11:30 am, May 13 – 14 and 20 – 21 at 2:00 pm, May 15, 18, 19 at 9:30 am and 11:30 am

WHERE: Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX  78704

TICKETS: Tickets range from $10 – $14. For weekend performances, tickets may be purchased online by visiting www.thelongcenter.org/event/playing-possum. For weekday performances, call (512) 743-7966 for tickets.

KEDI is a critically-acclaimed documentary about the lives of cats who roam freely throughout the metropolis of Istanbul and bring joy and purpose to the people they choose to love. The film has had a massively successful theatrical release, becoming the third highest grossing foreign language documentary ever, having garnered $2.4M, to date. KEDI will continue its theatrical run in select locations throughout the year. This feature-length film, which made its world premiere at the Istanbul Independent Film Festival, was produced by Ceyda Torun and Charlie Wuppermann. Torun also serves as the film’s director and Wuppermann as the cinematographer. KEDI will debut on YouTube Red on May 10, 2017.

In Istanbul, the cat is more than just a cat. It embodies the indescribable energy, culture, and uniqueness that is the essence of the city. Cats have become an essential part of the fabric of Istanbul. They are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could. The seven distinct feline personalities featured in the film are: Sari (“The Hustler”), Duman (“The Gentleman”),  Bengü (“The Lover”), Aslan Parçasi (“The Hunter”), Gamsiz (“The Player”), Psikopat (“The Psycho”), and Deniz (“The Social Butterfly”).

The cinematic visuals in KEDI take you on a “cat’s eye” journey through the winding streets of Istanbul, and invite you to experience the communal approach of the residents who care for the cats while allowing them to retain their independence.

“We know the YouTube audience has a never-ending fascination with all things cats,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “Ceyda Torun and Charlie Wuppermann’s visually stunning documentary featuring seven charismatic felines navigating the streets of Istanbul has resonated with theatergoers around the world, and it has all the right elements to be incredibly popular on YouTube Red.”

“I realized that my stories of the street cats of Istanbul were not exclusive to me. Everyone who formed a meaningful relationship with these creatures has come to experience life and their part in it differently,” said KEDI producer and director Ceyda Torun. “Cats have become synonymous with the city itself, ultimately, embodying its soul. This film is, in many ways, a love letter to those cats and the city.”

The film was executive produced by Thomas Podstawski and Gregor Kewel.

YouTube Red is a paid membership that gives you an enhanced, uninterrupted experience across YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids. Members also get exclusive access to new Original series and movies from top YouTube creators. YouTube Red is currently available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Korea with plans for additional international expansion throughout the year.

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) – a non-profit organization that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for sustainable waste management practices – in collaboration with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), has developed the School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP) to quantify both food waste and related wastes (e.g. recyclables, to landfill) generated in cafeterias at private K-12 schools nationally.

According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), roughly 40% of food produced in America is thrown away, which equates to nearly $165 billion worth of food each year.*

SCrAP aims to gather information regarding the quantity of waste generated in school cafeterias and gain an understanding of how this waste is managed both at the school and after it is hauled away.

In order to obtain accurate data, EREF has turned to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as private K-12 institutions, across the United States to compile data that could aid in significantly reducing food waste generation.

In addition to this information, SCrAP could provide benefits to schools such as:

  • Educating students/school staff regarding more sustainable waste management strategies
  • Reducing unnecessary food waste
  • Reducing food costs to schools
  • Developing ways to better manage institutional food waste

School participation can be as simple as completing a questionnaire or as involved as providing waste weight measurements. SCrAP participants will receive waste related educational materials for the classroom, a snapshot results report tailored for each school (for specified participation levels), and the chance to win money to support the school, up to a maximum of $1,500.

EREF has also developed Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SCRAPresearch/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/scrapproject/) accounts for the SCrAP program. Anyone can learn more about and help promote the program by visiting these pages and posting photos of their own food waste using the hashtag #myfoodscraps. 

For more information on the SCrAP project, including school registration instructions, please visit www.erefdn.org or send an e-mail to SCRAP@erefdn.org.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit www.erefdn.org.

*According to the 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill”

The Long Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce that Shopkins Live!, the first live theatrical production based on the phenomenally successful Shopkins toy brand will come to Dell Hall on October 21. The first national tour was jointly announced today by Gilles Paquin, President and CEO of Koba Entertainment, and Nicole Hardiman, Senior Licensing Manager at Moose Toys.  Tickets go on sale Friday, April 28 at 10AM at TheLongCenter.org.

Based on America’s #1 toy brand, Youtube sensation and international toy phenomenon created in Australia by Moose Toys, Shopkins Live! will feature The Shoppies and Shopkins characters taking the stage with an all new storyline, original pop music and video highlights as ‘Jessicake’, ‘Bubbleisha’, ‘Peppa-Mint’ and friends prepare for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair”.

“Shopkins is literally on every child’s wish list,” commented Paquin, who also serves as Executive Producer of Shopkins Live!  “Koba Entertainment’s partnership with an innovative and leading toy manufacturer like Moose Toys allows us to bring one of the most successful toy brands in history to life on stage.”

“We are thrilled to have Koba Entertainment presenting our first-ever live theatrical show for Shopkins,” added Hardiman.  “This will be a fantastic event featuring the Shopkins and Shoppies in an amazing adventure that our North American fans can experience.”

Since its launch in 2014, the Shopkins brand continues to be a hot ticket item for children worldwide.  Shoppies dolls consistently rank as the #1 kids toy in the U.S.; the first-ever Shopkins movie, Shopkins Chef Club, was released last year by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment; and numerous dedicated apps continue to expand the brand’s ever-growing world.

Shopkins Live! will run for approximately 90 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission. For more information on Shopkins Live! visit www.shopkinsliveontour.com and sign-up to be the first to hear about the pre-sale offer, on-sale dates and North American tour dates.

The Shopkins Live! U.S. tour is represented by APA.

You’re invited to the Grand Opening Event @ #NYXCosmeticsNorthStar on:

Friday, March 24 @ 10AM
Saturday, March 25 @ 10AM

Enjoy surprise giveaways + more!

The first 200 in line EACH DAY get a FREE BRUSH CUP* with a chance to win a $100 Shopping Spree + other prizes!** Plus, snag a FREE MINI TRAIN CASE with your $75+ haul!*** Avoid #FOMO and enjoy the fun in our POPUP EVENT when you spend $25 or more!****

See rules here: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/NorthStarGORules.html

7400 San Pedro Ave #140
San Antonio, TX 78256

The Domain is turning 10 this year so let’s celebrate with food, music, friends and lots of good cheer!

Area residents and visitors are invited to join The Domain in celebrating 10 years serving the community on Thursday, March 9. Throughout the day, mall management will be randomly surprising shoppers with Simon gift cards, Starbucks cards and more!

The celebration will continue from 5-8 p.m. with live music by More Cowbell, a photo booth, complimentary Sofia minis and desserts, giveaways, and of course, fabulous shopping!

In honor of 2007’s Pantone Color of the Year, ‘Chili Pepper’, Domain retailers that opened during the center’s first year will be decked out in red balloons and streamers all day. Many will also host in-store anniversary events and specials, including:

Banana Republic – Save 50% on up to five regular priced items.

BCBGMAXAZRIA – Enjoy champagne and macaroons while you shop.

Burberry – Enjoy champagne and cookies while you shop.

California Pizza Kitchen – Celebrate 10 years with $10 sangria flights.

Coach – Receive complimentary in-store monogramming with your purchase and enjoy champagne and treats while you shop.

David Yurman – Enjoy Maggie Louise chocolates and champagne while you shop.

J.Crew – Enjoy sweets, sips and a free tote with purchases

Kona Grill – Take a stroll down memory lane with a 2007 playlist and capture the memory with a selfie.

L’OCCITANE en Provence – Save 10% between 4-9PM, plus enter to win a $250 prize package. Take advantage of complimentary facials, hand massages and fragrance layering.

Lilly Pulitzer – Visit the Braid Bar from 5-7 p.m. Plus, celebrate the new product line with a gift with purchase.

Luxe Apothetique – Receive a free beauty swag bag with a purchase of $75 or more. Plus, listen to music from our DJ and enjoy light snacks and cocktails.

Macy’s – Enjoy music from a DJ and get the chance to win a pair of shoes. Plus, make an appointment with a cosmetic line and receive a $10 gift card.

Madewell – Enjoy sweets, sips and free one-on-one styling from 6-8 p.m.

Neiman Marcus – Enjoy snacks, sips and cool beats while you shop.

North Italia – Enjoy our anniversary cocktail for $10, a refreshing whiskey cocktail with blood orange and honey.

Origins – Stop by for A Perfect World Collection relaunch, enter to win one of three baskets and receive a gift when you spend $75 or more.

The Steeping Room – Kick off a month-long celebration with The Steeping Room! Don’t miss Gong Fu Tea Service demonstrations and sampling at the retail counter 9-11 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Plus, enjoy complimentary mini lemon matcha cupcakes and teatail sips all day and into the evening. Additionally, enter the anniversary raffle for the chance to win exciting prizes.

Stuart Weitzman – Try on your perfect pair and sip champagne while you shop.

Tiffany & Co. – Sip champagne while you shop the collection.

Tommy Bahama – Enjoy beverages and light snacks while you shop.

White House Black Market – Enjoy 10% off when you mention The Domain’s 10-year anniversary.

Pollyanna Theatre, resident theatre company of the Long Center, is remounting their highly acclaimed production for children and families about Civil Rights, Liberty! Equality! And Fireworks! by Gregory S. Perrin. The performance is free to the public on Saturday, February 18th at 2:00 pm at the LBJ Library Auditorium, located at 2313 Red River Street. The play is best suited for children ages eight and up, and their families. This production is co-sponsored by the Education Department of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum and The University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

This powerful play follows the field trip adventures of a group of 4th grade students who are visiting a history museum but are surprised by what happens when people from iconic images come to life and tell them their personal stories. These characters entertain and enlighten; taking the next generation of theatre goers on a fascinating journey through the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Liberty! Equality! And Fireworks! was written as a commission by award-winning playwright Gregory Perrin for Pollyanna Theatre Company. Perrin, a successful Texas playwright, studied with three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee, has received five different commissions to write plays for family audiences and was the inaugural playwright commissioned by Theater LaB Houston for the Fiesta First Ward Children’s Theater Project.

“History is important, but many of our children feel that it is boring because it has nothing to do with them. My goal is that the children seeing this play will leave with questions about what they have seen, which hopefully will lead to conversations with parents, grandparents, teachers and friends. These conversations – though difficult or unpleasant – need to happen,” says Perrin.

The unique partnership between Pollyanna Theatre and LBJ Library was sparked in 2014 after Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, Founder and Artistic Director of Pollyanna Theatre Company, and Gregory were invited to a Civil Rights Summit in 2014 at the Library, attended by President Obama and former Presidents Carter and Clinton. Judy ended up sitting next to an avid Civil Rights advocate also dedicated to education; Dr. Bernice King – youngest child of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Pollyanna later received an invitation to perform in the LBJ Auditorium from Mark Updegrove, Director of the LBJ Library and Museum who saw the original production and participated in the post-show talkback.

The LBJ Library’s Education Department helped create educational resources to accompany the show, which are available free of charge, online and in print for all adults who attend the production. The materials explore the Civil Rights Movement and include recommendations on how to navigate children through this very important topic.

Pollyanna is thrilled to have the opportunity for another run and deeply grateful for the support of our partners at the LBJ Presidential Library Education Department and The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (http://diversity.utexas.edu/). Matetzschk-Campbell says, “The first run of this production which was presented in October of 2014 received as much positive response from adult audience members as from our younger patrons. It is truly a production which will be enjoyed by all attendees ages eight through adulthood. The arts are a wonderful tool for parents and teachers to use to continue this timeless dialogue.”

“The LBJ Presidential Library has been observing the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, signed into law by President Johnson in September 1965, and his words still resonate today, ‘For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a nation,’” says Mark Updegrove, Director of the LBJ Library. “As our nation also marks the 50th anniversary of key pieces of legislation that LBJ signed that address equality, the right to vote, and fair housing, the LBJ Library Education Department is excited to join hands with the leaders of Pollyanna Theatre to invite a new generation of Americans into this important conversation about our liberties.”

For more information on Liberty! Equality! And Fireworks! or Pollyanna Theatre Company, visit www.pollyannatheatrecompany.org.

For the Tibetan Mastiffs living on Snow Mountain, a dog’s life has a simple riff: Guard a peaceful village of wool-making sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux (Lewis Black) and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, Mastiff leader Khampa (J.K. Simmons) forbids all music from the mountain. But when Khampa’s son Bodi (Luke Wilson) discovers a radio dropped by a passing airplane, it takes just a few guitar licks for his fate to be sealed: Bodi wants to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. Yet that means defying his father’s wishes, heading to the city, and locating the legendary – and reclusive – musician Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), who needs to write a new song and fast.
If Bodi can put a band together, help Angus with his song, and defeat the wolves’ plot to take Snow Mountain, his life will be in tune. Bodi will become what he’s always dreamed of being: More than a dog … more than a Rock God… he’ll be a ROCK DOG!
Summit Premiere presents, a Huayi Brothers Media Corp. and Mandoo Pictures production, in association with Huayi Tencent Entertainment Company, Eracme Entertainment, and Dream Factory Group.
In Theaters February 24, 2017

There she is! America’s favorite real life Miss Congeniality, the larger-than-life Jeanne Robertson and former beauty queen is returning to the Long Center. Once Miss North Carolina, Robertson has traded her crown for grins. This comedienne is bringing her life stories and loud laughs to Dell Hall February 3rd. Tickets are still available but going fast!

At 73 years young, Jeanne Robertson continues to charm audiences with her humorous observations about life around her. Standing tall at six-foot-two, Jeanne Robertson has a powerful stage presence, an infectious personality, and a timeless sense of humor. Her storytelling panache, making even everyday experiences extraordinarily funny, hits everyone’s funny bones—even the kids’! So bring the whole family, because everyone is bound to have a great time and an even better laugh.

With seven nationally released DVDs, three books, hundreds of hours on SiriusXM satellite radio and over 21 million YouTube hits, the demand for Robertson’s family-friendly and engaging brand of comedy has grown exponentially. Some of her most popular anecdotes include “Don’t Go to Vegas Without A Baptist,” “Don’t Bungee Jump Naked”, and “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store.”

Robertson’s witty depiction of everyday situations never fails to have audiences of all ages rolling with laughter. Don’t miss this down-home performance by a downright funny lady!

Tickets for Jeanne Robertson are available at TheLongCenter.org or by calling (512) 474.LONG (5664). Also available at the Long Center’s 3M Box Office located at 701 West Riverside Drive at South First Street.  For groups of 10 and more, please call 512-457-5150 or groupsales@thelongcenter.org.